- Check that the seat belts operate properly and smoothly. Check belt wabbing for wear or damage.
- Be sure all gauges - fuel, oil, temperature and battery - function properly and indicate normal levels.
- Check brakes for smooth operation. Pedal should be firm and vehicle shouldn’t pull to one side while stopping.
- Check for steering - wheel vibration, hard steering or strange noises.
- If vehicle pulls to one side, have tires and alignment checked by a Nissan dealer.
- Accelerator pedal should not catch or require uneven effort. Keep the floor mats away from the pedal.
- Make sure, headlights, stoplights; taillights and turn signals operate properly. Check headlight aim.
- Check that wipers and washers are working and do not streak.
- Ensure that air or heat comes out of the defroster outlets properly and in sufficient quantity.
- If the exhaust note sounds unusual or there is a smell of exhaust fumes, roll down windows and bring vehicle to a Nissan dealer immediately.
- Test automatic transmission "Park" mechanism on a fairly steep hill. The vehicle should be held securely in the "P" position without applying brakes.
UNDER THE HOOD
- Check fluid levels - engine oil, coolant, brake and power - steering fluids. Engine oil should be checked with the vehicle parked on the level ground and the engine stopped.
- Check automatic - transmission fluid level after putting the selector level in "P" with the engine idling.
- Check radiator for dirt, insects or leaves that may have accumulated. Inspect hoses for cracks, deformation or loose connections that lead to overheating.
- Make sure engine drive - belts are not frayed, worn, cracked or oily.
Operating a vehicle with insufficient oil can cause irreparable damage to the engine, so check the oil regularly and change it as often as noted in the maintenance schedule. Some tips:
- Park the vehicle on a level surface and apply parking brake.
- Run the engine until it reaches operating temperature.
- Turn off the engine. Wait for few minutes for the oil to drain back into the oil pan.
- Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean. Reinsert it all the way.
- Remove the dipstick again and check the oil level. It should be between the "H" and "L" marks. If the oil level is below the "L" mark, remove the oil filter cap and add the recommended oil. Do not overfill.
- Recheck oil level with dipstick.
- Keep proper inflation. Take readings with a tire gauge when the tire is cool - and don’t forget the spare. If your steering pulls to one side, a low tire should be to blame. (If not, it may be improper alignment.) Always check low tires for foreign objects such as screws or nails that might have caused the leak.
- Monitors tread wear. Many tires have built-in indicators that, when exposed by wear, signal the end of tread life. Tires can also be checked with a Lincoln - head penny. Insert the penny, Lincoln - head first, into the tread. If the top of the Lincoln’s head can be seen, the tire is not safe.
- Have alignment and tire balance checked when your car is serviced. Misalignments lead to rapid and uneven tire wear, and out-of-balance tires will cause steering vibration.
- Rotate tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles (or according to their manufacturer’s rotation schedule) to get the most out of each set. When buying new tires, it’s best to replace all four tires at once.
- Inspect tires for damage, cuts or excessive wear. At the service station, test pressure with a gauge and adjust if necessary. Also check for missing or loose wheel nuts.
- Check windshield wiper blades for cracks or wear.
- Look underneath vehicle to check for a low - hanging muffler or anything that looks abnormal. Also look at fluid leaks.
- Use only gasoline with the octane recommended in your owner’s manual. A common misconception is that octane measures the quality or power capabilities of gas. But octane is simply the measurement of gasoline’s resistance to detonation or pinging. So using higher-than-recommended octane gas is a waste of money, while lower-than-recommended octane will result in poor performance and increased operating costs.
- Be sure to avoid running the tank too close to empty. Gas impurities and sediments collect at the bottom of your tank and cause problems if drawn into the fuel line.